Hi everyone! I’m so excited to finally get these tutorials up! It’s a method I worked out when I started designing baby blankets and was one of the first techniques I wanted to share when I decided to make tutorials.
Whenever I knit a baby blanket (or scarf, or any other big flat project) I work from 3 balls of yarn. For DK, Worsted and Bulky this means working from 3 individual skeins since those blankets require that much yarn. For Fingering and Sport it usually means buying 2 skeins and splitting them into 4 balls and using 3 at a time. Here’s why I do this:
Make a Tidy Edge
Firstly it’s an easy way to create a simple border on all 4 edges of your blanket. Every stitch, whether on the selvage (the side edges) or the cast on/bind off rows is made holding two strands together. This gives these stitches more bulk relative to the rest of the work and creates a simple edge that you don’t have to worry about – it’s straight, tidy, and most importantly you don’t have to knit a separate border onto the blanket at the end after you finally finished the whole thing.
Here is my step-by-step guide to working a chain selvage.
Even Out Color
The second reason I do this is to reduce variation between skeins of hand-dyed yarn. As you probably know, you’re supposed to alternate skeins every other row to reduce the subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, differences between skeins. For flat knitting this means each skein gets two rows (AABB), which in my experience still shows the differences and can even look like stripes. By working from 3 skeins as I’ll show you, you work a basic sequence of ABC and can change it up anytime to increase the randomness (ABC-AAC-CCA etc). I like the results from this method much better.
Here is a picture of the first blanket I ever made, with no attempt at blending anything. You can see exactly where I ended one skein and started another, even though they were the same dye-lot of the same yarn!
Below are the kind of blankets I make now. Much better! A tutorial covering the cast on, edge stitches, and bind off using 3 skeins is here.
I hope this helps with your own blankets and adds a polished look to any other scarves and shawls you’re about to start. Happy knitting!